Imported galloper Lidari led all the way to score his maiden victory at Group level in the 2014 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington this weekend.
Jockey Luke Nolen took Lidari straight to the lead in the early stages of the race and the son of Acclamation was never troubled; holding on strongly to record a comfortable win from fellow import Foundry and the fast-finishing Sertorius.
Co-owner Terry Henderson and Peter Moody admitted that it was a last minute decision to ride Lidari forward in the Blamey Stakes and the leading Melbourne trainer said that he was very happy with the way the five-year-old settled during the run.
“We left it to Luke and he was quiet buoyant before the race,” Moody said.
“The pleasing thing was the way that the horse settled; we have worked on getting him to do that.
“It looked a very messy race on paper, but Luke took it by the scruff of the neck and I think that the best horse run.
Moody is unsure whether Lidari will have his next race start in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 22 or the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 12, but said that there are plenty of options for the OTI Racing-owned entire during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
“We took him up the Epsom after a very good run in the Dato’ (last campaign) and he raced well leading into it and then hurt himself on race morning,” Moody said.
“He is in the Doncaster, he is in the Ranvet, he is in the Queen Elizabeth, so we will find something for him.”
Nolen said that he will still like to see Lidari settle better during his races and, like Moody, believes that he may be at his best over a mile.
“On paper there was no pace and I found myself there,” Nolen said.
“I didn’t really want to be the leader and he was still a little bit aggressive, but that might be his go.
“The thing that I was really encouraged by was that when I gave him a dig in the ribs he really responded and he responded well to my riding.
“At home he can be a bit relaxed in his work, so it was really encouraging what he has done today.”
Pre-race favourite Sertorius was slow out of the gates again, after missing the kick by two lengths in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes, and was off the bit early, but managed to pick up late and looks as though he will appreciate the step up in distance when he contests the Ranvet Stakes and the Group 1 The BMW (2400m).